‘The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug’ Review


Courtesy of New Line Cinema

Sydney Rogalsky, Arts & Entertainment Editor

“Desolation of Smaug” far surpassed all nerdy expectations. In contrast with the previous film, which covered approximately the first 60 pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, “The Hobbit,” the sequel really delved into the story, showing the dwarves journey to Erebor, Gandalf’s own personal quest, and a look further into the lives of the elves.

Martin Freeman brought back Bilbo Baggins with a vengeance. Not only did he bring back the loveable Hobbit, he also showed the deterioration of sanity that comes with being the keeper of the Ring. He ranged from freeing the dwarves with an escape plan via barrels to brutally murdering an innocent creature in defense of the Ring seamlessly, bringing an air of creepiness to the creature.

Sir Ian McKellan brought just as much life to the movie with his character Gandalf as he brought to the original series. Just as interesting as the main plotline, Gandalf’s subplot of going on his own quest captivated the audience as he journeyed to find the Necromancer. No spoilers, but fans of the original series will be quite excited over the addition of this “dark” wizard.

As phenomenal as the effects of the first film were, they were easily outdone in the sequel. From Orcs to skin walkers to an actual dragon, the CGI department really outdid themselves. And it wasn’t just the creatures. To make the dwarves look significantly shorter than Gandalf, McKellan had to act in a green screen room to little light posts that lit up depending on which character was meant to be speaking.

Perhaps the most talented department on “Smaug” was the make-up and costume department, who really outdid themselves. From fitting nearly every actor with realistic wigs and beards to creating masterpiece-like outfits for all the elves, the department surely deserves not only applause, but also awards for their painstaking work in bringing Tolkien’s world to life.

Though the film is about two and a half hours long, every second was entertaining and not a moment seemed to be wasted on extraneous details or establishing shots. For everyone that hasn’t seen it, the only advice I have is to go to your nearest Shire movie theater as soon as you can and bask in the glory that is “The Hobbit.”